Leyte Series: 5 Fun Historical Facts about San Juanico Bridge | Tacloban City Part II

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When you are in Tacloban City, visiting the San Juanico Bridge should be on your top 5 must-visit tourist spots list. Not only does the bridge has a historical significance, it’s also mesmerizing aesthetically. As Tacloban City’s traffic starts to congest around 5 p.m., it is best to escape from the buzzing streets and get to the bridge before the clock strikes 5. The sight is something to behold! It is even considered as iconic for being one of the most marvelous feats of engineering in the Philippines.

Other than the added fact that the bridge creates a really great backdrop for portrait photos, here are 5 relevant historical facts that you might want to know or be reminded about:

  1. Did you know? San Juanico Bridge was formerly called as the Marcos Bridge, it being a project of the late President Ferdinand Marcos during his administration. The construction of the bridge sought to connect the two provinces of Samar and Leyte. Presently, the bridge is the longest bridge in the Philippines which spans over the San Juanico Strait. Since its construction, it has become an access road by many locals of both provinces, making it so easy for them to cross from Samar to Leyte, and vice versa. The bridge does not only improved the lives of the locals, it also boosted the economy as business transactions in the two provinces are now facilitated faster.

  1. Did you know? The San Juanico Bridge is the late President Ferdinand Marcos’ gift to his wife, the former First Lady, Imelda Marcos. In fact, the groundbreaking ceremony of the bridge was celebrated on the very birthday of Imelda. This bridge has also been considered by the late President as his most important gift for his wife.

  1. Did you know? The shape of San Juanico Bridge was wittingly constructed to carry the two provinces’ initials—L and S, L for Leyte and S for Samar. As you approaches the province of Leyte, the bridge is shaped in a letter L, as when you are approaching the province of Samar when the shape of the bridge which forms letter S becomes apparent.

Approaching Leyte:

 

Approaching Samar:

  1. Did you know? Even locals until now would tell a tale about how kids’ blood and life were offered during the construction of the bridge. Of course, these are mere hearsays as no one has ever tried proving it. Honestly, this doesn’t sound right too. Exactly why it remained a hearsay, right?

  1. Did you know? It took only four months to finish constructing the San Juanico Bridge, with a fund amounting to roughly an estimate of 21 billion. Considering that this bridge is the longest in the Philippines, its construction period is surprisingly the shortest and one can say that the materials used were not corrupted because the bridge wasn’t damaged when typhoon Haiyan (local name: Yolanda) hit the province of Leyte.

P.S. Don’t miss to walk on San Juanico Bridge if you are in Tacloban City and don’t miss the experience when your legs or knees shake every time a big truck passes by. 😀 From the bridge’s tail coming from Samar, walking towards the opposite end tail will take roughly 45 minutes, or an hour or so (as in our case because we stopped and took photos.)

Here are some of the great portraits I took for my sisters before we head home. The bridge gives any photo viewer the illusion that the photo was taken somewhere abroad. 😀

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Leyte series: 21 Grand Rooms Inside Sto. Nino Shrine | Tacloban City Part I

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During my siblings’ visit here in Tacloban City two days ago, we were able to schedule time to tour around the city and get the true feels as tourists. Since I cannot really go far from the venue where my training was held, I realized that we don’t really need to go far because even within the city, there are already numerous tourist spots that are a must to visit. For instance, the Sto. Nino Shrine or the Romualdez Museum.

We’ve heard about the grandeur of this mansion how many times but never had the chance to tour inside, until two days ago. Post-Yolanda, we were all the more curious if the mansion is able to preserve its grandeur. You be the judge.

Located in Real Street Tacloban City just beside the People Center (now labeled as Japan Surplus), this museum is the grand mansion of the late President Ferdinand Marcos built for his wife, Imelda Marcos. It is one of those properties of the Marcoses which have been sequestered by the National Government through the Philippine Commission of Good Governance. I can only imagine how grand it must be during Marcos’ time because even after Yolanda struck Tacloban City on November 8, 2013, one can still see many very expensive collection of china wares and porcelains inside the mansion. This is also why I decided to create a separate blog for it. There is so much good stuff to feature! 😀

Entrance to the Santo Nino Shrine/Romualdez Museum. This is where you will pay your entrance fee.

From downtown area, ride on a tricycle going to Real Street. Fare is only P15.00. Upon reaching the entrance of the museum, there will be an information officer who will ask what’s your purpose for coming and visiting the mansion. Then you will be asked to pay for P200.00 as entrance fee. This is already good for 3 persons. There will be a guide who will tour you to every corner that the mansion has, from its rooms to its bathrooms, to its receiving area to its ballroom.

The mansion does not only boosts of 21 grand rooms of the immediate Marcos family–that of the late President Marcos’ and the former First Lady Imelda Romualdez-Marcos and their children, Imee, Irene, Aimee, and Ferdinan Marcos Jr. aka Bongbong Marcos, and their guests. It is likewise a home to the beautiful shrine of Sto. Nino.

Sto. Nino Shrine inside the mansion.

Sto. Nino Shrine inside the mansion.

Through the photos below, let me take you to the 21 grand rooms which are designed and decorated according to the family’s chosen theme. I was able to remember the names of the other rooms but some, not, because the tour guide is like having an LBM with her pacing speed hahaha! 😀

If I understand the interior of the mansion right, I can say that the left wing (facing the Santo Nino Shrine) is where you find the immediate family’s rooms. The right wing is where the guest rooms are.

Ifugao room

Palm Room

Bicolnon room

Chandelier in the Palawan Room

Chandelier in the Palawan Room.

Muslim Room

Shell Room

The late President Ferdinand Marcos’ room.

An antique air conditioning regulator inside the late President Marcos’ room.

The connecting room of the late President Marcos for his guards or Presidential escorts.

Senator Bongbong Marcos' room

Senator Bongbong Marcos’ room

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Imee Marcos’ room

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Aimee Marcos’ room

Little Aimee (the grandchild) and her yaya’s room

Behold! The former First Lady, Imelda Marcos’ room-the largest room in the museum.

Imelda's bathroom.

Imelda’s bathroom.

Primitive room

Sampaguita room

Ilokandia room

Coconut room

Butterfly room

Banig room

If there is one thing I have observed from these grand rooms is that they all have a grand bookshelf. Some of these rooms even have old books in it with subjects ranging from political to philosophical books. Also, all rooms have either Imelda’s paintings or photos, or that of the President’s, or both. These rooms likewise have its own bathroom with a bath tub in it.

I have been to Ilocos Norte and was also able to visit the Marcoses’ properties there and if there’s one thing I can say, it is that they have truly lived a grand life. They don’t settle for anything cheap. As how Imelda puts it:

I did not have three thousand pairs of shoes, I had one thousand and sixty.
If you know how rich you are, you are not rich. But me, I am not aware of the extent of my wealth. That’s how rich we are.
Win or lose, we go shopping after the election.

Leyte series: Canigao Island

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Seeing our photos from our Canigao Island trip made me realize how busy have I become to have not the time to put into words my travel memories. It was one of the best memories I’ve had so far last summer.

My sisters and I have always wanted to spend summer on an island, camping. It was just so timely that I was assigned in Leyte for some contract of work, and the boyfriend is from Leyte too. So, we all decided to go to Canigao and you know, get back to the basics, with only our tents, food, booze, and friends.

And hey, the goal was to welcome my birthday on the island. 🙂 Off to Canigao Island we went.

Day 1 – April 01, 2015

My sisters, along with our cousin, came all the way from Cebu. We took Cebu – Hilongos route via Roble Shipping Lines. We took a bus bound for Maasin City and arrived at its terminal around 6 AM. Since it is still too early, we decided to visit Mama Mary’s Shrine and say our prayers first. I will write a separate blog for Maasin City’s beauty in the next few days. 

Ivan and his crew were all coming from Sogod, Southern Leyte. We all decided to meet in Maasin City since they were bringing a car.

Breakfast at… where else? Jollibee! 😀

From Maasin City, we went straight to Matalom. Canigao Island is part of Matalom, a municipality which is roughly 45 minutes away from Maasin City. We dropped by their public market and bought: uling, rice, fish, spices.

From the market, to the mini pier, we went. Time check: 12:45 NN.

Caveat: Do not hop on the boat immediately with your friends. Wait for other tourists bound to the island for awhile. This will be helpful if you are going with a group but your number does not exceed 10. The boat must be filled otherwise, you pay for the entire trip which will cost you around P2,000 while a 2-way trip only costs P90.00

We waited until the boat was filled by local and foreign tourists alike. Finally, bound to Canigao!

We were sooooo lucky the island was ours that day. Not too many people were on the island, so, we had our chance to choose the best spot to assemble our tents during our stay.

The night arrived, and…

 

Day 2 – April 02, 2015

Ah! Let’s welcome a new day and a new age! It was my birthday and I have the best set of people to celebrate it with!

As we were kind of dizzy from last night’s shenanigans, we decided to wake up early and walk the entire island. We attacked the day with much enthusiasm!

The shenanigans continued and Ivan’s father arrived all the way from Sogod, too! We’re feeling kids needing some supervision 😀

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My birthday ended with a lot of sensible talks and crazy convos too! With this bunch, one can hardly delineate one from the other 😀 And while they sang me a birthday song, people who were about to go back to the mainland gave their extra food to us haha! We created friendship on that island with strangers from different places and countries.

 

Day 3 – April 03, 2015

Time to go home. We had a taste of the sea once more and again, more crazy talks!

All our bags were packed but we’re not ready to go! 😀

 

Here are some tips when going to Canigao Island for the first time:

  1. P90.00 – 2-way fare. You can either choose to stay overnight on the island but make sure to advice your boat driver around what time you will be going home the next day. In any case you cannot find your boat driver, you can just ask other boat drivers to allow you to ride on his boat to take you to the mainland. No need to pay as boats going to the island are likewise managed by the LGU. This is part of your P90.00 fare already.
  2. If you do not have tents, you can rent a tent on the island. There is a caretaker there whom you can approach. Tents (smaller ones which can accommodate 3 pax cost P180.00 while bigger ones which can accommodate 10 pax costs P500.00.) If you are going home, you can just leave the tent where you mounted it. The caretaker will be the one to dismantle it.
  3. There is a small market at the back of the island where locals sell their fresh catch of fish, shells, and other sea foods. Prices are not really expensive except that you have to pay for cooking charges (P30/fresh food.) If you want to avoid this cost as you are on a budget, you can buy your canned of goods from the mainland, or your ready-to-cook food.
  4. There are likewise not much of a charging station on the island. I highly advice you bring your powerbanks with you. Depending on the availability of sockets at this one store which accepts charging for a fee, you also have to pay P15.00/phone charge.
  5. Liquors, smoke, and other local spirits are available at this market at the back of the island too. Store owners likewise mounted umbrellas with tables and chairs should you want to stay there for a while or eat your breakfast there. Manage your expectations.
  6. Comfort rooms for girls and boys are available and clean.
  7. I believe there are also rooms for rent there but very limited. I think there are only 4 rooms for rent on the island. Usually, in order to avail of these rooms, you need to have contact with the caretaker and book really early. As for us, the adventure is in camping.

Well, if you have questions, fire them on the comments section below! In the mean time, here’s my reflection of our Canigao Island getaway.

It is easy to drown in life’s ocean of sorrows. Some of us were able to swim back to the shore, never looked back, and moved on. Others, never found their strength and got crashed by the wave of despair.

At some point, we probably have reached a breaking point in our lives. Whether we’ve chosen to chase the light or creep into the darkness, we all make choices that’ll suit us best.

No judgments.

Over a year of silence and solitude made me realize four core values in my life:

1. That there are things beyond my control. I have to learn to resign and surrender all my worries, fears, and hope for greater odds instead. Hebrews 11:1 Faith is the substance of things hoped for; the evidence of things not seen.

2. That patience is truly a virtue. Everything has a perfect time no matter how solid my plans and strategies are. Impatience will only weaken the spirit and allows sorrow to eat the soul.

3. That I am allowed to fail but I am never a failure. Success is never final but, not trying is. It is important to achieve the right mindset and gather all positive energy to keep the spirit renewed.

4. That hope spring is eternal. There will always be an event in my life that will shake me up; always. But, what is life without a few bumps? We will never know what we are capable of without being tested by time.

I have been guilty of not knowing myself more and refusing to live life all the more. I was, until I finally found my way back home.

Today, I have never been so contented and blessed for having the chance to bask in life’s greatness. I am immensely grateful for a family who unconditionally loves me despite my almost unforgivable and self-inflicted scars, and for true and real friends who make life even worth living.

At 28, I found myself on an island with only the basic of things necessary to survive, staring at a magnificent blue sea, flipping my life’s timeline and assessing it, and realizing that the things I am grateful for outweigh my personal disappointments about life. I have been selfish and boastful despite me being one tiny spec of dust in this great universe. Nonetheless, I am still favored and loved by the Lord.

I have found peace. To life! Thank you all for the greetings. Life has been really awesome and it’s raining blessings everyday!

Leyte series: Gonjuban Falls

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Southern Leyte is filled with virgin natural resources. This is one thing that I really like about this place. Apart from it’s almost always cold at night, it also gives out a great sunny weather in the morning-giving me the chance to explore more places. Exceptions (usually rainy days) on the month of May – June.

When I was looking up the internet for neighboring places in Southern Leyte that can offer me the place to go next, as my feet start to itch to wander again, I stumble upon Gonjuban falls.

Located in Barangay Buli in Southern Leyte just 20 minutes away from Sogod, Southern Leyte, or if you are coming from Hilongos, roughly 35 minutes away. You can drop off at Buli Elementary School (just advice the conductor.)

When we went there, we were riding a private car. We were lost at first because there were barely few residential houses there and hence, no one to ask information from. The entrance going to the falls is likewise a very narrow (you can barely see it.) Make it your landmark the Buli Elementary School. From there, follow the narrow path just beside the school. You will have to trek for at least 15 minutes and you will cross a small river bridge and the climb up to get to the main entrance of the falls.

At the entrance, there is an assigned caretaker to collect P10.00 for entrance fees. Yes, P10.00 only. This is probably because the falls is not yet developed (totally virgin.) But, for any wanderlust like me, my feet is doing the chicken dance!

According to local lore, no one has been recorded to have touched the bottom of the falls yet. One of our friends tried to jump from the top, and he hasn’t touched anything down there upon his dive.

Here are some of the photos we had during our wander to Gonjuban Falls.

There are no stores near or surrounding the falls so if you are planning to drink and swim when you go there, it is wise to buy from downtown or from the place where you are coming from drinks and chichirya. While you can probably asked the caretaker assigned to summon someone and ask to buy you these, there might be no one to call on to for that when you reach there. If there is, you might be also paying for more and tip the errand boy.

Leyte series: Neguillen Adventure Resort

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It has been months since my stay here in Leyte. I have been blessed immensely since then. My prayer for a very rewarding job has been answered just right after December of 2015. I can still remember how I joked around with mom that there will  be no worries because the job will find and that she will never see me bumming around the house anymore. I cannot be more thankful! I have seen the different faces of miracles through the smiles and laughter of children, as well as the commitment to stand firm and to survive from parents affected by disasters and emergencies. This job I am currently in right now has never made me sooooo human! I have personally committed to pour my heart into it in return. Hence, this can explain why it took me a eons to blog once again. I am soooo excited to share with you the places I’ve been to during my stay here in Leyte.

By the way, because I got sooo busy, I didn’t notice my domain name expired! (boo!) This also explains why I’m back here. But, this time around, I intend to stay and commits to write whenever I can squeeze time. 🙂

To kick off my Leyte adventures, here’s just one of the many great resorts here that you can visit. Glad to visit this place for the first time with two of my beloved humans: the bestfriend, Isabeau, and the boyfie.

Neguillen Adventure Resort is a mountain resort located in Kanangkaan, Sogod, Southern Leyte. A few kilometers away from the heart of the city, and you have this view to enjoy:

The road was such a challenge! But the view is totally worth it. The freshness of the air, and the coolness of the water outweighs the mandatory walking we did going to the resort. Here are some photos we had in the resort.

 

Here’s some tips and guides on how to get to Neguillen Adventure Resort and what to expect along the way:

From Cebu:

1. Secure boat ticket bound for Hilongos. You can either buy a ticket from Roble Shipping Lines or Gabisan. Hilongos trip is daily (day and night.)

2. Secure a boat service (bus ticket). This can be purchased through the customer care section on the boat. Tell them you are bound to Sogod, Southern Leyte. Fare is around P70.00

3. Keep your boat service ticket with you and make sure the boat crew indicates your bus seat number on it (usually written at the top most right portion in the ticket.) Your bus’ name is also written on the ticket.

4. Upon docking Hilongos port, go straigt to your designated bus. Present your ticket and hop in.

5. Travel time to Sogod from Hilongos is roughly 45 minutes to 1 hour.

6. If it is your first time to go to Sogod, advice the conductor to drop you off Sogod Bus Terminal, or Top Home in Sogod. From there, you can take a tricylce to take you to Kanangkaan.

7. Tell the motor driver to take you to Neguillen Resort. There is no other resort in Kanangkaan except this one. Drivers know their way to the resort. Fare is around P30 – P50 if you are alone (pakyawan.) Otherwise, this should only cost you P15.00.

8. Roads (atm) going to the resort are under construction, not to mention, very slopey. Sit tight and hang on! There are parts along the way when you have to get off the motor and walk your way up. So… yeah.

9. Entrance fee: P75.00

10. There are yet only a few cottages. Price rates range from P2, 000 – P4, 000/ night (individual and group accommodations available.) Cottages for groups can accommodate up to 15 people.

11. Amenities/facilities: swimming pool for adults and kids, jacussi, canteen, lounging area, shower rooms, and karaoke.

All others, you can opt to book for a flight bound to Tacloban City and from Tacloban New Bus Terminal, ride a Bachelor or a mini-bus bound for Southern Leyte. Remember the drop-off points. Tacloban City to Sogod travel time is around 2-3 hours. Fare depends whether you’re riding an air-conditioned bus or not. Air-condition: P250.00, non-air: P150.00.

Travel Guide: Itinerary in Southern Leyte

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Crazy beautiful detour—pretty much the perfect description I can come up to describe my wanders to Sogod, Leyte. While my Zambales trip was put off due to aircraft situation but my leave application already approved; I decided to create my own adventure. I braved travelling alone to someplace I’ve never been to yet–a first. It was a long time I’ve felt butterflies in my stomach; the thrill and fears of how a trip would turn out. But, I braved it.

To Sogod, Leyte I went.

When my dear friend Cleo called me up and invited me over to their town’s fiesta, I took it as a sign to quench my thirst for adventure. I immediately proceeded to Roble ticketing office that day. After all, I badly needed a break from a very rough work week. From Cebu City, I booked a ticket from Roble Shipping Inc. They offer day and night trips to Hilongos, Leyte (the port where your boat will dock to reach Sogod, Leyte), daily (12 nn and 9 pm). Unusual for me, this shipping line does not only offer economy, tourist, and cabin accommodations but also sitting accommodations. Travel time to Hilongos is six (6) hours. I took the economy accommodation and paid P290.00 one-way. You also need to get a boat service ticket (the bus that will take you to Sogod proper). You can buy this at the information counter just beside the boat’s restaurant. Make sure to proceed there directly right after you get onboard so that you’re assured a bus seat when you dock Hilongos port. For the boat service going Sogod, I paid P70.00.

I took the night trip. Time of departure was 9 pm, I was already on my bunk by 7 pm. Excited?

I reached Hilongos Port quarter to 4 am. The bus that’ll take you to Sogod waits right at the pier. On your bus ticket, your bus seat number corresponds to that number written at the top left in the ticket. I was number 4.

Foggy road and blind curves? Check! I got worried but decided to drown my worries with music. Hilongos to Sogod proper didn’t take an hour. I was fetched by the boyfie at Sogod terminal around 5 am. Yes, the boyf is from Leyte. *blushing

I decided to stay in a hotel despite no prior reservation. We went straight to GV Hotel conveniently located at Osmena St. just a corner ahead from Sogod terminal. Unfortunately, I arrived too early that if I checked in that time (which was almost 6 am already), I have to check out by 12 nn of the same day and need to pay up for another day. Regular check in time is 8 am and check out is at 12 nn the next day. I decided to wait until 8 am. We headed to my boyf’s house instead and woke up the sleepy heads; had coffee and donuts with his parents and went back to the hotel around 8 am. GV Hotel rate: P650.00/day. Includes: clean bathroom, shower (no hot), cable TV, air-conditioned, and Wi-Fi. Nothing was fancy; just the basic. There were not even enough outlets to charge phones. But, I wasn’t there to sleep or charge my phone, right? I was there to enjoy.

First itinerary: Agas-Agas Bridge

Located in Brgy. Kahupian, Sogod, Southern Leyte, this 292 feet high and 350 meters in length above the ground linear bridge is to date, the tallest bridge in the Philippines. Built by the DPWH as part of local government’s risk reduction and management program against landslides, this project was built with the aid of the Japanese government. This is also where you can experience extreme zip lining.

From Sogod, you may take a bus ride bound for Tacloban at Sogod terminal, fare is less than a hundred. Drop off at Mahaplag crossing (better tell the ticketer).

Second itinerary: Zip Southern Leyte

One-way zip will cost you P350.00 and if you decide to give it another try, you’ll pay P250.00. What differs this from other zip lines? It’s level of extreme! See photo below:

When you brave the zip southern leyte (880 meters, 20 meters above the bridge at a speed of 110 kph), you’ll definitely be left with a dry throat (from screaming) and a hungry stomach! There’s a food kiosk below the zip line area or just right beside Mahaplag crossing. Don’t miss out Sogod’s fried piyaya!

Third itinerary: San Roque fiesta

From the extreme adventure in Agas-Agas bridge, we drove towards Brgy. San Roque to take part in the festivities. We were hosted by Atty. and Teacher Paranas, the owners of Royal Waldorf Integrated Academy. Dinner was served. By far the largest grilled fish I’ve ever had for a dinner!

As we got our fill, the tune of the band in the basketball court pumping to the sound of Alicia Keys’ If I Ain’t Got You and Lorde’s Royal, down to the a rather rapport-building and beat of cha-cha and boogie threatened a total showdown. The traditional barrio disco (locally known as diskoral) begun and man were they great performers! We watched the barrio folks had great fun while we capped off the night with Chivas and Fortunella. *wink

Fourth itinerary: Hindag-an falls

Located at St. Bernard, Hindag-an falls is one beauty you cannot miss when in Leyte. An hour or so drive from Sogod, it’s definitely worth it! If you are commuting, you can take a bus from Sogod terminal bound to Silago, fare is P100.00. Drop off the right side of the road where you see Hindag-an falls sign just right after Lepanto town. Entrance fee is P20.00. This is another tourist spot regulated by the local government unit. Clean, fresh, and cool water—just what I truly needed after an hour drive!

On your way to Hindag-an falls, you’ll also be able to see the Limasawa Island from afar, and blooming flowers almost everywhere.

Fifth itinerary: Boating in Consolacion

The good thing about boyf’s place in Consolacion is its location—right beside the beach! Local fishermen will no doubt take you to a boating ride that’ll put you in so much awe of how wonderful it is to bask in such wonderful creations surrounding you—calm waters, perennial mountains, and healthy flora.

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Sixth itinerary: Café Emmanuel

I was craving for pizza after a great day filled with wonders and wanders and Café Emmanuel is the place to go when in Sogod. From Gaisano Mall, drive straight ahead. It won’t take you 10 minutes to get there. They sure got me by its perfect ambiance. I smell romance that night. Open house with lacey pastel drapes, garden, natural air—it was a perfect night. Although I got put off by the slow service for a while, but when pizza was laid on the table, man was it soooooo delicious and filled! It was huge! Cost P400.00. I paired mine with San Mig Light apple flavor. We also ordered their special paratha sandwich at P120.00. It was equally mouth-watering and came in four (4) sliced great servings.

I arrived at my hotel totally satisfied and in so much gratitude. I booked my ticket back to Cebu at Tejano. I took a tourist accommodation knowing for sure I would be sleeping away the six (6) hours travel back to Cebu.

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Two (2) nights and two (2) days at Sogod Leyte breakdown:

Cebu – Hilongos + boat service—————–P 360.00 (economy accommodation)
Terminal fee—————————————25.00
Hilongos – Cebu + boat service——————–400.00
Zip Southern Leyte——————————–350.00
Hindag-an falls entrance—————————20.00
Local fare spent———————————-200.00
GV Hotel accommodation (2 nights)—————1,300.00
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P2,655.00

TRAVEL NOTES: Commitment of waterfalls

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Have you ever traveled for love?

Have you traveled and lost love?

I did.

You gain some, you lose some.

I find it amusing how often we fall on the chase bout for love and end up losing in the end—regretting, whining, ranting, and cursing about love. After we licked our wounds and sew up ourselves, we go back to the chasing bout, doing the same things for love all over again, and end up in the same path we once cursed. Love indeed is a losing game. Huh! Amy Winehouse had it all figured out then.

When is too much really too much?

I guess you’ll never find out until you finally know who is worth fighting for, who is worthy of all the risks; until there is nothing more to give, or when you ran out of reasons to be hurt; until everything fades out in total gray, or black…

I guess that’s when you’ll know.

Some completely gave up on their chances of winning on love. Some traversed on the same path that made them fell on their knees but eventually gave up, too. There are those who almost bagged it, but never had the guts of taking it home. But, there remains the dreamers… they are the ones who stand up for the fight, because they were never scared of the fall; they live for the fall.

Are we being realists or dreamers?

I think some of us are caught up in between—wanting to risk it, but not wanting to get hurt. We tend to be swayed by the notion of a win-win situation.

There is none of such kind.

You commit to one, you lose the other. In this case, you give a part of yourself to someone; you lose that part of yourself.

Can you take back what you lost if everything falls apart?

Maybe, if you give it some time.

I think we all thirst for a commitment of waterfalls—enticing, alluring, exciting, scary, important, promising, dreamy…

Tricky. The adventure of it all.

As I’ve said:

If you give up because you are hurt, you are a fool.

If you give up because you think you can’t do it, you don’t know your strengths.

If you give up because you don’t have time, you are selfish.

If you give up because you are scared of the risks, you simply don’t know what’s worth fighting for.

 

Mag-aso falls, Antaquera, Bohol

Mag-aso falls, Antaquera, Bohol

TRAVEL NOTES: Train station of chances

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At one point in our lives, we fell in our own traps, we stumbled on our missteps, we faked our reality in the pursuit of advancing to the surreal–that utopian portal that promises easy and great for everything.

At one point in our lives, I tell you, we wanted the wrong things, kept wanting them even more the first time we failed at plucking them, until we realized we lost the things that truly matter. Our selfish pursuits pushed us to put on our wrong foot forward.

Bad moves and wrong decisions create the perfect weave for failure.

Where do we go back to rectify the wrong, or compensate for the damage done?

We don’t. We are not supposed to.

Instead, we look forward. This time, our attempts are aimed at a different goal: to not fumble over same mistakes. We burry the things in the past to make room for future advancements, for success.

But, how many of us have been given the chance to make amends with our past? The real chance; not the make-believe, nor the fake dream that once hyped our notions of what’s ideal, of what we truly deserve.

Some would say they have enjoyed their chances because they were born with a bottomless source of it, but for others, a single chance may just be another good dream they have to carry inside their heads until they breathe the last flake out of life.

To be honest, I think our chances come in various packages and these don’t take us. Rather, we take our chances.

So, don’t forget those tickets (and yourself) the next time the midnight train passes by. Get on board and enjoy the ride! Or, prepare to sleep on an empty station with the hopes of getting on the next one… if there will be a another one.

Legarda MRT Station, Manila

Legarda MRT Station, Manila

#100HAPPYDAYS: Challenge Accepted!

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Lately, I’ve been receiving feeds from my Facebook and Twitter accounts showing off my friends’ daily photos of the things–meet-up with friends, or eating their longtime love cornic, or even by finally getting home after a long tiring day from work–the things that turned their day into a happy one. After describing the photo, you put the hashtag #100happydays, and some other hashtags that may be added if you want to limit the audience to your post.

I got curious about it and looked it up. I thought it’s a photo contest of some sort, only to find out something really interesting, truly worthwhile, and may even be life-changing! Without a doubt, I registered. Now, I just posted my first photo that made me happy today:

The Philippine Acacia tree in full bloom.

I accepted this challenge because it really makes sense especially considering how people have become so busy these days with a lot of things they tend to forget the little things that made their day. This somehow reminds me to appreciate even the little things; the blessings that are showered upon us.

I am guilty of neglecting these little blessings, myself. This is why.

I highly recommend you accept this challenge too, and I bet it would be nice to look back at the 100 days you have been so thankful about. Who knows, after the 21st day, it just becomes a habit. 😉

Visit the 100happydays website now, and challenge yourself.

 

Will you have the time to be happy?

TRAVEL TIPS: Top 10 must-bring when travelling

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Definitely, top 1 should be travel documents! Secure all your necessary travel papers first before anything else.

After securing your travel documents and making sure you are scheduled to go, do check your purse. Consider what you intend to do during your travel and the important other factors like lodging, food, and transportation, in order for you to estimate how much you should be bringing with you. Yes, you definitely need cash. You don’t know really when some emergency happens along the way. Some places might not accept cards, only cash.

You know how you always wish to have a carry-it-all bag whenever a travel idea hits you? That one bag that can carry your whole world for you, under any type of weather, and under any occasion?

I’m pretty lucky to have that kind of  bag.

Would you believe I can pack 3 denim pants, 2 long night dresses, 5 tops + undies, and my flip flops inside alongside my pouch for make-up and toiletries?

Quiet a lot?

Here’s the proof!

You see, the common mistake among people who loves to travel but cannot leave their great essentials behind is not knowing how to properly pack their clothes to fit in the size of their chosen travel hand carry bags.

This is me assuming that travel should always be light, save on exceptional instances when you really need to pay up on the extra baggage, such as when you are traveling with your kids.

If you have found the right bag for all your clothes, you should make sure to at least have a body bag which have compartments such as this:

I love this bag so much (which was, by the way given to me by my aunt without a blink of an eye) because it has three major compartments with a zippered front pocket where I can place all my coins.

This is where your passports, or tickets, and other travel documents, coin purse (even), and money bills should go. Make sure this body bag is reliable enough. Do not also forget to place at least a small bottle of hand sanitizer or alcohol inside your body bag.

The next must-have should be mobile phones, unless you want to go extra adventurous on your trip, of not letting the world know where you are, or you’re hiding your trip from someone, then, you may skip this part. Oftentimes, we need these phones when traveling because these are what we made as bargaining chips to our bosses–you give me this work off, you can contact me through my mobile.

I carry with me two phones all the time. And they should be smartphones; the other one to do the hard work (calls, texts, etc.); the other handles  emails, documents, inventories, or as your trip tracker, and map! Also, it’s always good to bring extra batteries for both. Or, if you don’t like the idea of batteries, at least get yourself a power bank.

Now, this must-have #7 pretty varies for every traveler. Even I should be guilty of not owning a camera my own. Yep, camera should be a must-have. Why? Because… because… you can’t really miss everything new and beautiful, right? I mean, of course, you can trust your memory now, and remember them in mind… but really? NO! Bring a camera. But, since I can’t afford my dream camera yet, I have to stick around with my phone’s camera and rely on it pretty much. 😀 Soon… *crossing fingers*

Moving on, another thing that I cannot leave when travelling is my journal notebook. There must be some reason why I am a blogger, right? This is where I usually take note the spots I visit or about to visit, or my itinerary for the day. This makes it easy for me to write my travel diary later on and to share it with you guys. Below is a journal my sister gave me on my 27th birthday. Yes, there should also be a pen. 😉 One thing you should know though is that I prefer writing on sheets than on my phone or any other gadget. I love the satisfaction the paper is giving me.

When traveling, don’t forget these three combos: sunblock, lip balm, and moisturizer. Our skin easily gets dehydrated, especially when directly exposed to the sun’s rays. Avoid damaging your skin by not leaving behind these three essentials.

Lastly, bring some music with you… bumming around the beach, or spending some time on the road to reach your destination will be better for sure if there is music.

What about you? What are your must-bring things when going on a trip?